Ahead of the informal meeting of the Environment Ministers that took place in Stockholm on 18-19 April, Latvia’s Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Māris Sprindžuks underlined how, for a successful green transition, it is necessary to integrate climate goals into all State policies.
Among useful tools, he mentioned tax policies and State support programs that take into account the impact on the environment and biodiversity, while also promoting a behavioural change among citizens and new business models among entrepreneurs. However, he also recognised that defending national interests and involving local authorities are important as well.
“Taking into account the single market of the European Union, the conditions and incentives must be harmonised in order to create equal business conditions in all the Member States of the European Union,” Minister Sprindžuks said.
In particular, the Minister mentioned the Commission’s proposal to regulate packaging and packaging waste, contributing to reaching the objective of the European Green Deal and the new circular economy action plan by ensuring that “all packaging on the EU market is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030”. The proposed regulation will also “contribute to the commitment of the 2018 Plastics Strategy to ensure that by 2030 all plastics packaging placed on the market can be reused or recycled in a cost-effective manner”.
While welcoming the proposal, Mr Sprindžuks pointed out that the discussion must continue around a well-thought legal framework. As it goes also for the new eco-labels, any regulations at the EU level should look at sustainability while also preserving the competitiveness of entrepreneurs.